15 December 2018

Where Are You Christmas ~ Content but no Style

Happy Christmas Dear Reader,

Christmas cards have begun arriving in the post.  This too is something that haunts me.  I love getting them and reading the notes and news of friends far away.  I also feel their absence more deeply this year.  I feel the distance between my place and so many people.

As I write this, I sip my eggnog coffee, ponder the cards in front of me, and miss those with whom I usually share this season.  The coffee becomes harder to find each year.  The cards are fewer than any previous Christmas.  There are people I love that I will not get to see.  That, however, is not what is impressed on me.

I look at the card from one family.  It is an old-fashioned family photo card showing their newest addition.  This is one of those families that does Christmas right.  We are kindred spirits in that.  It is not just a family to me, though.   It is an ER nurse who fights to save lives and be a good mum every single day.  It is a dad who works to raise a family that is solid and strong.  It is a daughter who is creative and amazing and a second one that is new to be celebrated.

The card is content.  The heart behind it is style.  So often we have content but no style.  Can we, can I, find the style when I lack the content?  My four-inch Christmas tree, stocking-less mantle, and small pewter nativity are all the content I have this year. 

My style must be found in the heart I have for others.  It must be seen in my refusal to let my circumstances determine my joy.  My celebration must not be perfunctory.  It must be full no matter my standing or estate.  Light has no shadow.  If I follow the Light of Christmas then the shadows seen in my smile will fade.  The sorrow in my heart may be felt without it being given lease on the season. 

Where are you Christmas?  You are in the joy that is there because of Jesus Christ and his Advent into the world as one of us.  You are embodied in the incarnation that brought Immanuel, God with us. 

In ten days, I will be through the time and the questions in my heart will be answered.  This question has been answered daily thus far and thinking past today is only going to make things more difficult.  It will have me pondering things I cannot control and wasting creative imagination on worry and fear.  So, warm up my coffee cup and tell of your celebration style Dear Reader.  Send along a tale or two of mirth and your Christmas heart.  I promise to read and savor every word.

Got a birthday card at Christmas: it made me think of Jesus Christ.
It said, “I love you” in small letters. I simply had to read it twice.
Wood smoke curled from blackened chimneys. The smell of frost was in the air.
Pole star hovered in the blackness. I looked again: it wasn’t there.

People have showered me with presents. While their minds were fixed on other things.
Sleigh bells, bearded red-suit uncles. Pointy trees and angel wings.
I am the shadow in your Christmas. I am the corner of your smile.
Perfunctory in celebration. You offer content but no style.

Oh that little baby Jesus: he got a birthday card or three.
Gold trinkets and cheap frankincense. Some penny baubles for his tree.
Have some time off for good behaviour. Fourteen days, give or take a few.
Hey there, sweet baby Jesus: Let’s share a birthday card with you.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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